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Face to Face
Students Listening to Sam Frankel

Face to Face is a 3-hour, award winning, Holocaust education program, sponsored by Congregation Shaarey Tikvah. It is designed for eighth through twelfth grade public and parochial school students in the Cleveland area. Although some of the schools we have served have had a small percentage of Jewish students, most of the more than 33,000 students we have taught, since the program's inception in 1994, have been non-Jews, who had never before seen the inside of a synagogue.

  • Photos of Face to Face sessions.

  • For a current Face to Face schedule, please see Shul Events.

  • For Louise Freilich's monthly bulletin article on the Face to Face program, please see our CST Bulletins page.

  • Videos from commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
A crucial aspect of the program is that adolescents come "face to face" with Holocaust survivors, within the context of the synagogue sanctuary, and have the opportunity to interact on a personal level. Since the survivors who speak were roughly the age of our teenage visitors, during the Holocaust, students are given the opportunity to come "face to face" with tragedy, courage, perseverance, coping, faith and forgiveness.
Holocaust Memorial Garden
Holocaust Memorial Garden

Our purpose is to increase the students' knowledge and understanding of Judaism and the Holocaust, and within this context, to introduce issues such as:

We accomplish these goals by providing the students with a developmentally appropriate Holocaust learning experience inside the sanctuary of a synagogue, so that they connect learning about the Jewish people with the tragedies and atrocities of the Holocaust. In addition, we discuss what students today can do to make a difference and prevent such occurrences from happening again.

We include the ideas of educating family and friends about the Holocaust, developing a tolerance for differences within their peer groups at school, and refusing to be a participant or bystander in the face of intolerance. We attempt, through these discussions, to vastly improve relationships between teenagers of different cultures and religions.

Face to Face has been a resounding success, as reflected through both student reaction letters and teacher evaluation forms. The program won the 1999 Solomon Schechter Gold Award for Holocaust Programming, a national award. A high percentage of our attendees are from repeat schools that have told us the program is wonderful and that they will continue to bring their students annually.

For more information about this enlightening program, please contact Louise K. Freilich, Face to Face Director at 216-765-8300, x140 or face2face@shaareytikvah.org. See the current listing of Face to Face programs on the Shul Events page.